From the Parish Council (May-June 2108)

At the Annual General Meeting of Wadhurst Parish Council held on 10th May 2018, I was elected as the Parish Council Chairman for the forthcoming year, with Anthony Dunnett as my Vice Chairman.  I begin my term of office by thanking Felicity Harvest for all the hard work she has put in over the last three years.  Although I know many people in Wadhurst, I thought it might be useful to give others some idea of how involved I have been in the community since I arrived here in January 1983 as Deputy Principal of Uplands Community College.  I became heavily involved with the PTA and Community Education, through Youth Clubs, Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, Oasties & Sticky Fingers Adult Education and Uplands Sports Centre.  I am currently a Governor of both Wadhurst CE Primary School and Uplands Community College.  My charity & fund raising began with Wadhurst Round Table, of which I became chairman, and continues through Wadhurst Rotary Club.  I retired from teaching 11 years ago and was persuaded by a previous County Councillor to put myself forward for election to Wealden District Council.  I have served as your local District Councillor since May 2007.  I joined the Parish Council 4 years ago and was Vice Chairman to Felicity.  I have 3 grown-up children who all went to Wadhurst Primary School and then Uplands Community College before going on to University.

Just to update you on the campaign to keep Wadhurst Household Recycling Centre open, since the deadline for responding to East Sussex County Council consultation will have finished by the time you read this.  We had 2,634 signatures on the petition to save the recycling centre.  Cllr Bob Standley, our local County Councillor, is working hard to influence the politicians not to close the recycling centre.  Cllr Anthony Dunnett has managed to persuade BBC SE News to run a story on Saturday 5th May which featured 3 highly articulate and passionate Uplands sixth formers.  This was repeated with Meridian News on Saturday 12th May.  There have also been articles and pictures in the ‘Courier’ and ‘Kent Online’.  Thank you to all of you who signed the petition and completed the East Sussex County Council online consultation. More residents have rejected the proposals than the total number of people who have responded to the ESCC online consultation.  Uplands Community College held classroom debates and 95.5% were against closure.  Wadhurst Primary School have had a similar response.  Also thank you to those who tweeted  ‘selfies’ whilst recycling to #wadhurstrecycles.  I do not think we could have done much more to stop ESCC closing our community’s recycling centre.

Over the last 7 years various schemes have been proposed to improve the High Street to both increase the safety of pedestrians and improve the look and workability for residents, visitors and traders.  Detailed drawings of the intended scheme were made available at the Annual Parish Meeting on 15th May for residents to see and give first impressions.  The formal East Sussex Highways consultation with the community will start in June.  The scheme is scheduled for implementation during the 2019 school summer holidays to minimise affect on residents and traders.

A Neighbourhood Plan sets out a vision of what we want Wadhurst to be like in 10, 20 or 30 years time, identifying what needs to happen in order to achieve it.  Wadhurst NP must work alongside the Local Plan for Wealden.  Our neighbouring Parishes are also creating their own Neighbourhood Plans.  There are some key issues to be considered, for example, where we live, where the children play, the shops, offices, housing, leisure and healthcare facilities you use, allotments, public transport, roads, cycle and footpaths as well as the surrounding environment.

We have already started and a steering group under the chairmanship of Jonathon Bishop has been established, with professional help, to begin to organise how to get ideas from our local community fed into the creation of a Wadhurst Neighbourhood Plan. The formal launch is on 23rd June, although we are hoping that you will have brought lots of ideas to the Annual Parish Meeting on 15th May.

The Steering Group has already had input from Uplands students and people with passions and interests that they want to see reflected in the Plan.  Neighbourhood Plans must be developed by the local community, so we are looking for more volunteers.  You can get involved by

  • Bringing ideas to the Formal Launch on 23rd June
  • Inviting a member of the steering group to a meeting of your club or society to tell you what we are doing and ask your opinion
  • Joining the Steering Group
  • With like-minded people, working up an idea for consideration
  • Delivering leaflets, running stalls, use of social media
  • Filling in the questionnaire which will come through your door

It could take up to 2 years to produce an agreed Wadhurst Neighbourhood Plan, so please get involved and make your voice heard.

Finally, just to remind you that our new website www.wadhurst-pc.gov.uk has been in place for nearly a year, so why don’t you check it out for more information from your Parish Council ?

Graham Wells

Chairman, Wadhurst Parish Council

Wadhurst News April-May 2018

From the Parish Council

 We have a new member of the Council.   I’d like to welcome Alan Buckle, who has a background in both accountancy and public policy.  He is Chair of the Child Poverty Action Group and an active member of Wadhurst Runners.

I am delighted to say that we now have over 2000 signatures on the petition to save the recycling site, and though there are still copies around which you can sign, our focus is moving now to trying to influence the politicians by other means.  Even if you have signed the petition, please do also respond to the ESCC Household Waste Site Consultation available on the ESCC website or Google ESCC waste recycling consultation: https://consultation.eastsussex.gov.uk/economy-transport-environment/household-waste-recycling-sites-have-your-say-1/.   This is not “double counting” – it is the formal consultation, rather than the petition, and both are important.  And please keep up the social media campaign: send a ‘selfie’ of yourself at the site at Faircrouch Lane to bmeredeen@wadhurst-pc.gov.uk or attach it to a tweet #wadhurstrecycles.  We have a month yet till the consultation closes – now is the time to make your views heard.

Just one more reminder that the Annual Parish Meeting will be on May 15th this year, where one of the main subjects will be the Neighbourhood Plan.  You should find a newsletter about this in this copy of Focus.  There will also be a formal launch of the Neighbourhood Plan consultation on Saturday 23rd June (please note change of date).  I am delighted to say that since last month, a couple more members have joined the steering group, but we still need more – Contact the Steering Group on 07757 141221 if you’d like to get involved, or email wadhurstnpp@gmail.com.

At the April meeting, the Council gave the go-ahead to a small working group to look at how we might support the High Street – we want to do our bit to make it a lively and exciting place to be.  So we will be looking at the feasibility of the Council itself taking a short term let on one of the shops, if a suitable one is available at the right price, which we could use from time to time as a public face for the Parish Council or the Neighbourhood Plan, and which could hopefully be used as a “pop up” shop by local businesses, charities and individuals for just a few days as a temporary high-street presence to promote their services or sell their wares.  If you are at all interested in this, please contact Cllr Morris and let him know what your interest is – 01892 783226 or cmorris@wadhurst-pc.gov.uk.

We have now agreed an outline emergency plan which is on our website.  Hopefully it won’t be needed for a while!

The verges in the village areas (rather than on the roads outside the villages) used to be cut by East Sussex County Council, but they have now stopped doing this (unless the Parish Council is prepared to pay a considerable amount for them to do it).  So we have taken their offer of a small amount of money which will pay for us to do some cutting ourselves.  However, we are going to do it a bit differently.  The Parish Council has a commitment to biodiversity, and so we will try and encourage the return of wildflowers and a greater variety of plants to the verges.  This may mean less regular cutting, except in those areas where safely is an issue (for instance, where growth on verges might obscure your view of oncoming traffic).  And, while on the subject of roadsides, we are working with the newly formed Wadhurst Community Gardeners to find ways to encourage the growth of wildflowers on the little grass triangles around the parish.  In order to support this, we are looking at ways to fund the installation of curbs, which might just deter drivers from driving over the triangles – which at the moment are only protected by the shiny windmills which have been added to them by wellwishers!

And finally, I really do mean finally:  this is my last Focus article because I will stand down as Chair at the coming Annual General Meeting of the Parish Council in May, having done my full 3 years.  I’d therefore like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow Councillors for all the hard work they have put in, Parish Council staff past and present, and those of you who have read these articles, acted on them, and even from time to time said they were interesting.  I’ve certainly enjoyed the role, and look forward to supporting a new Chair next year.

Felicity Harvest

(Chair Wadhurst Parish Council)

 Contacts: fharvest@wadhurst-pc.gov.uk. tel 783226, or the Clerk (Amanda Barlow) – The Pavilion, Sparrows Green Recreation Ground, TN5 6TW, tel 07375 062428, email clerk@wadhurst-pc.gov.uk.  Fiona Hensher, Finance Officer, address as above, email rfo@wadhurst-pc.gov.ukFollow us on Twitter:  @wadhurstpc.  Website: www.wadhurst-pc.gov.uk.  Or download the free Wadhurst Parish Council app for your Apple or Android mobile device.  Search for ‘Wadhurst Parish Council’ in the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Save our Recycling Centre at Wadhurst

Subject: The Proposed Closure of the Household Waste Recycling Site on Faircrouch Lane

Dear Friends and Residents of Wadhurst and the Surrounding Villages

 

Many of you may have already heard of East Sussex County Council’s short-sighted decision to close Wadhurst Household Waste Recycling Centre as part of the cost cutting measures. Any decision to close the recycling centre will increase fly tipping, reduce overall recycling, increase traffic and pollution on the roads to Crowborough, Heathfield and Tunbridge Wells, increase transport costs to residents and increase traffic movements across the Ashdown Forest.  We will be circulating a petition to all Wadhurst’s Clubs, Societies and the shops in the village.  We will also be speaking to the local schools and the Parish Councils in the surrounding villages.  You may well be accosted at the station or on a Saturday morning the High Street in coming weeks!  The consultation closes May15th. but we don’t want to leave any response until the last minute.

 

PLEASE ADD YOUR VOICE AND SIGN THE PETITION.  In addition, can you please:

Would you consider approaching your friends and neighbours?  If so, please print off a copy of the attached “Keep Wadhurst Recycling Petition”. Once you have filled out a sheet, please take the completed forms to Carillon Cottage on the High Street.

With many thanks for supporting your community in this way.

 

Kind regards

Anthony Dunnett

                                                KEEP WADHURST RECYCLING

We the undersigned deplore the short-sighted decision of East Sussex County Council to close Wadhurst Household Waste Recycling Centre as part of the cost cutting measures. Any decision to close the recycling centre will: increase fly tipping, reduce overall recycling; increase traffic and pollution on the roads to Crowborough, Heathfield and Tunbridge Wells, increase transport costs to residents and increase traffic movements across the Ashdown Forest.  We the residents of local villages who use this site ask that the decision be reversed and our local recycling centre be retained.

 

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Wadhurst Neighbourhood Plan website 2018

Wadhurst Parish Council is pleased to announce that in the first quarter of 2018 the Steering Group which is leading the development of the Neighbourhood Plan will start the process of community engagement to gather the views and opinions of those living and working in and around Wadhurst about the future of our neighbourhood.

For more information on this community led plan, please see the Wadhurst Neighbourhood Plan website https://www.wadhurstnp.org/